Four Rs of Bible Study

Use this simple four-step Bible study method to: read, reflect, respond, and rest in God’s Word. This can be applied in your own time with God and in small group Bible study.

Four R's of Bible Study | Navigators Bible Study Resource | Young adults, multi-ethnic group in a Bible study at church.

Use this simple four-step Bible study method to: read, reflect, respond, and rest in God’s Word.  This can be applied in your own time with God and in small group Bible study. Choose a passage that is not too long— four to eight verses—since people will be listening to it being read several times through. You can also practice this pattern in your personal devotional time.

1. Reading God’s Word.

Have everyone close their eyes. Say, “Listen for a word or phrase that you particularly notice as I read the passage aloud.”

After the reading, have everyone sit in silence for two to three minutes. Then say, “With your eyes closed, speak the word or phrase you noticed. Don’t worry about others speaking at the same time.”

2. Reflecting on God’s Word.

Next, say, “As I read the passage again, listen for how the content speaks to your life today.” Read the passage again, slowly and clearly, followed by two to three minutes of silence.

After the silence, invite people to share: “What does the passage mean to you? What did you hear, or what are you feeling or thinking?”

3. Responding to God’s Word.

For the third reading, say, “As I read the passage again, listen to how you might respond.” Read the passage again, slowly, and have the group sit in silence for two to three minutes.

After the silence, invite people to say a small prayer of response. Sometimes someone will hear profound, life-changing words, sometimes someone is challenged or affirmed, and sometimes nothing happens. All is normal.

4. Resting in God’s Word.

Have everyone close their eyes again and listen while the passage is read for the final time. Say, “Receive the words and rest in Jesus’ truth.” After the fourth reading, the group might say the Lord’s Prayer together.

At the conclusion, the group can discuss their experience. What are some questions or insights? How does listening help us to see and hear the Word differently than a Bible study does? How might the group respond to these words from Jesus?

Excerpted from Lifelong Leadership: Woven Together through Mentoring Communities. Copyright 2020 by MaryKate Morse. Published by NavPress. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Learn more about the book at navpress.com. A version of this resource appears at TheDisciplemaker.org.

Four R's of Bible Study | Navigators Bible Study Resource | Young adults, multi-ethnic group in a Bible study at church.